Posts Tagged ‘parenting’

It’s a Mother’s Day CONTEST!!!!

April 27, 2013

Come one.  Come all.  Step right up and enter to win a GRAND PRIZE for you or a mother dear to your heart this Mother’s Day.

What would every mother want?  A diamond ring?  No. (Could get lost while playing in the sand at the park!) A new MiniVan!  No. (Take it from my experience, after you hit someone in a minivan, they are not that great any more!)  A dozen roses! No (They wilt in no time, especially if you bought them at Walmart!)

Maybe something to bring joy to her heart.  Something to make her laugh…. and snort… and laugh some more!  Yes, you guessed it!  A Book!  YES!

my mom book

Yes, a FREE autographed copy of my book Laughing in the Midst of Mothering!  Every mother you know needs a laugh!  This book can be yours (for your mom if you aren’t a mom) by merely entering your name in the comments section of this blog.

You have until May 5th midnight to enter.  On May 6th, after I sleep in, I will randomly draw one name from the list and announce the winner here on MSJ.  I will blast the name for all to see.  The winner will have 24 hours to contact me with an address for where to ship the book.  If person #1 doesn’t contact me, I will draw another name on May 7th.  :o)

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True Confessions of a Mother

January 18, 2013

When my children were 7, 4 and 2-years-old (back when I only had three kids!) I read a book that stated, “A seven-year-old is capable of running a household.”  It shocked me.  But I bit into it…. with my jaws wide open… similar to my first bite of a Krispy Kreme donut.  That night, as I laid in bed with my eyes wide open, I dreamed of training my 7-year-old to take over all the menial tasks that I dreaded as a mother and keeper of the home.  I envisioned my next two offspring also reaching the ripe old age of seven…. and helping their older sister do EVERYTHING!  Oh, sweet baby Jesus, this was the answer I needed … my ticket to sanity… the train bound for the hot bubbly bath surrounded by candles …. and TIME to read a good book without interruptions.

The chore chart was born that night and materialized the next day.  It worked like a gem.  I taught each kid a single chore, one at a time, year by year, that they could master at my cleaning expectations.  Oh, would my future daughters-in-law sing praises to my name!

You may be asking yourself what I would do with all my new-found free time…. well, I’m a homeschool mom.  BAM!  (Homeschool mom = no free time.)

Reflecting back, after 12 long years in the saddle (and 9 to go, but who’s counting?), I have come to see the harm the chore chart did to my children.  Yes, it’s true.  And I am admitting it here for all the world to read.  (Well, that is…. the 80% of those in the world over the age 15 who are literate… according to a 2002 statistic.)  (Homeschool moms are experts at finding statistics to prove their point.)

As the teen years encompassed our home, I realized that my sweet chillin’s wouldn’t lift a finger for any chore that did not have their name next to it on that particular day. “WHAAAAT?  Is that how we brought you up???  To be selfish and petty?”  Made my blood boil.  (That only happens at 212 degrees F…. and I was THERE, baby!)

Discussions revolving around teens and the spirit of helping, a willingness to serve, desiring to be like Jesus, etc. etc. etc. were had by yours truly and many others in my life.  Since then, we have regrouped and are trying something new and improved… it’s called being nice.  Being thankful.  Not feeling entitled.  An announcement was made at the dinner table not long ago…. it went something like this:  “We are a family.  We help each other.  We serve each other.  If someone cared enough to plan your meals, go grocery shopping, cook for you and set the table….. then you need to stick around until the whole kitchen is cleaned up and the food is put away.”  BAM!  It has worked beautifully for three nights now.  I will keep you posted on the success of trying to teach my children to be helpful without their name written on a chart.  Pray for me.

Now, those who have great faith in my chore chart abilities, do not fear.  Only the kitchen tasks have been removed.  Their names are still next to chores that include wiping toilets, vacuuming, dusting, cleaning windows, collecting trash, etc. etc. etc.  Some things just need routine.  Ok, I just need routine…. and a long bubbly bath surrounded by candles.

It’s TRUE!

July 24, 2012

That ago old adage that I’ve heard since birth uttered from parents, “This is going to hurt me more than it hurts you” IS TRUE!  Be warned.  Be afraid.  Be very afraid.  Parenting is not easy, but it is worth it 27 gazillion times more than the pain it brings.  Yesterday was the first time I lived through “this is going to hurt me more than it hurts you” from the parenting side of the equation.  Details need to be kept to a minimum, but a HUGE decision was made by my husband and myself that not only affects one of our children, but is one of those examples to all of our children who will remember forever, “When mom and dad ask you to do something… they mean it.”

I think I cried more than the child did.  My husband called a couple of times throughout the day and asked, “How are you doing?” not how is the child doing.  The child will be fine… and stronger for it, we hope.  I was a mess.  I always want to be known as the dream builder, not the dream crusher…. but sometimes when we see discrepancies between what we have taught and how the child is behaving…. dreams have to be put on hold.  We have to go in reverse for a bit and re-learn a few character issues that were obviously taken too lightly.  Delay is not denial… I learned that from my baby sister.  It applies here.  Delay is also dumb when we are not getting our own way… which leads us back to character issues AGAIN.

This reminds me of when my mother, in a flustered and frustrated situation, would tell us, “Go to your room and holds hands with yourself.”  When I became a mother, I completely understood the meaning of that.  I changed it up a bit for the next generation and have been known to relay loudly, “Go to your room and pray to Jesus that He makes you nice.  And don’t come out until He does.”  It’s all good.

It’s all about character.  How you behave when no one is watching is KEY.  Priorities are KEY. Being obedient is KEY.  Not just for our kids, but for all of us.  Blessing follows obedience…. every stinkin’ time.  God is so good.

 

And BAM! 17 Years Flew By

May 21, 2011

Tonight we spent the evening visiting with fine Canadian friends that we lived life with up in Northern Alberta in the early 90s.  I haven’t written much about our Northern escapades in a while.  Quite a few memories were reborn in my mind tonight…. quality fodder for blogging.  Good times!  I love love love reconnecting with friends where it seems like NO time has gone by…. except for our husband’s higher foreheads and a few more smiling lines for us girls.  We chatted and laughed and got caught up on 17 years of information in seven hours. 

When we lived together in Fort Vermilion, Alberta our first children were born within four months of each other.  We shared many meals and phone calls in those early parenting years.  Hard to believe we both have four kids now.  And my 17-year-old daughter LOVED being introduced to a “stranger” and told that she had changed her diapers.  :o)  Keepin’ ’em humble.  That’s my job as the mom.

We’ve matured over the years, but one constant remained… God is good.  All the time.  Hard times come and go.  But God is good.  All the time.  Amen.

Flashback Friday!

September 16, 2010

Well, tomorrow is Friday… but Flashback Thursday did not sound as good as Flashback Friday.  Anyway, our younger son who is the one sporting the orthodontic headgear has had the contraption on his face non-stop since he got it.  I didn’t think he would be this diligent, especially after the first night when he said it made his entire top row of teeth hurt!  Tonight I found out why he is wearing it every moment he can…. my husband calculated how much it will cost if he has to wear it for the full nine months…. and he told Keeve that he will PAY HIM if he gets it off early!  Bribery is alive and well in my God-fearing home. And can I just add here that money talks in this house!

This reminded me of another bribe-gone-bad from a few years back.  Both my boys were scheduled at the dentist on the same morning.  The dentist looked at our older son’s teeth and announced that one tooth, which was already loose, needed to be pulled.  He quoted me $60 to pull the loose tooth.  I phoned my husband to give him the update and he asked to talk to our son.  They talked.  Then hung up.  I asked what was going on!  My money-saving husband told our son that he would pay him $30 to pull the tooth himself!  A savings of $30!  Of course, our son was all for the $30 tooth pulling plan and started pushing and prodding the loose tooth.

Back I went to the other son in the next room and sat with him during his cleaning.  After a while, son#1 called out my name, “MOM!”  I went in there to discover a bloody hand holding the prized $30 tooth.  I was not surprised.

After cleaning #2 son’s teeth, the dentist reappeared in the room of son #1 who was still holding his freshly extracted canine.  The dentist was a bit surprised (and probably sad at losing and easy $60) and had a peak in my boy’s mouth.  His next comment made me laugh all the way home (just like the little wee-wee-wee piggy!)  “Son, you pulled the wrong tooth.”  It was all okay in the giant dental picture, as it was coming out soon and was loose as well. 

So we arrived home with the $30 tooth still in his head and a free tooth in his hand.  My husband gave him two days to pull the other one, or the $30 deal was off. At the end of day two the money exchanged hands and the Big Indian Tooth Fairy (my husband) was busy twice in one week!

Oh, the joys of parenting with purpose!

D6 Conference!

August 16, 2009

It’s coming soon… September 23-25, 2009 in Frisco, Texas.  If you haven’t checked out the conference, you need to.  It’s going to be awesome:  www.d6conference.com.  D6 stands for Deuteronomy 6 where parents are instructed to diligently teach God’s commands to their children while they’re sitting, standing, walking, jogging, swimming, shopping, working, etc., etc., etc. (OK, side note:  We just watched the original The King and I video for the first time and now I will forever be reminded of the King of Siam saying, “Et cetera, et cetera, et cetera.”)

Back to D6.  Here are just SOME of the speakers for the three day conference:  Jim Daly, Angela Thomas, Dave Ramsey, Mark Matlock, Darren Whithead, George Barna, Tim Hawkins, (ok, if he isn’t reason enough to go, please!!!) Renee Swope, John Trent,Rob Rienow, Kelly Rosati, Susan Sheppmann, and Linda Crosby.  WHAT?  Was that last name really on the list????  YES!  Amazingly, this whole shindig is put on by my publisher, Randall House, and they asked me to speak and are promoting my new book, Laughing in the Midst of Marriage, which comes out minutes before the conference.  I’m thrilled, to say the absolute least. 

I think I shared this preview cover before, but here it is again.  They made it so cute!  And yes, the turkey is burnt. 

Most parents want to be involved in the spiritual development of their kids’ lives. They just don’t know where to begin.  Here’s help!  COME to D6! 

Just had to share.  :o)  Excuse me now, I need to go pick up all of my buttons that are on the floor by my feet.

Train Up a Child

June 27, 2008

Our goal with our kids has always been to train them in the ways of the Lord.  Period.  There’s not much gray area in that sort of thinking… well, maybe hockey fights…. but seriously, we’ve aimed at excellence as much as it’s been in our capabilities.  We’ve been those parents that the other kids use as moral yardsticks: “But even Mrs. Crosby lets her kids watch that movie!”  Which means Jesus would watch it.  We’ve thought long and hard about the kids’ friends.  We’ve prayed for new friends.  We’ve seen answers to those prayers.  We’ve prayed for wisdom in parenting over and over…. while the kids were listening.

But somehow, deep inside, we pray that it sticks.  You know what I mean?  We speak positive words to them and Biblical promises over them.  We pray the scriptures over each one, including Zaza, our Colombian daughter who is not home yet. 

But somehow, deep inside, we wonder if we’ve sheltered them too much.  You know what I mean?  Will all this time with mom homeschooling REALLY make that much of a difference?  I could get on my homeschool soap box  and spit out the plethora of worldly things they’ve missed by skipping public school… but I’ll spare you.  (This time.)

Every now and again, we are humbled and discouraged by the children’s behavior.  But hey, they’re just kids.  They try dumb stuff, push our buttons and say unbelievably stupid things at inappropriate times.  Once our son completely insulted one of our daughter’s friends…. and was rightfully punished and apologized… I was mortified.  Rick and I sat on the couch that night saying, “We are good parents.  We are good parents.  We are good parents.”   

And every now and again, we get a glimpse of the fruits of our labor.  Our soon to be ninth grader came home from highschool church camp this week.  It was her first time with the youth… who unashamedly pour out their hearts (and sins) for all to hear and forgive en masse.  The camp speaker called on the girls to forgive their father’s…. and 2/3 ran to the altar to pray.  Our daughter was shocked.  Her sheltered eyes were opened.  She had no idea of the circumstances that most teenagers live in today.  Her heart broke for them.  She prayed for them. 

And then, glory be, she came home and told us that she didn’t realize how awesome her parents were.  WHAT?  You’re not supposed to figure that out until you’re 27 and having your own kids.  DUH!  Why do you think we ride you like a drill sergeant?  Make you do chores?  Ask you to pray?  Teach you God’s rules from the Bible?  Drag you to serve Thanksgiving dinner to those without family??? 

Anyway, we know there is an uphill battle for each kid that parents wage for many years.  We’re in for the long haul.  Pray!  Pray!  Pray!

Ta Da!

April 8, 2008

Finding Joy in Being a Mom by Linda Ann Crosby 

Here she is.  My magnum opus.  :o)

My Book!  And my bougainvilla that is going crazy! 

My book and my prolific bougainvilla.

Yesterday was the day I have been waiting for for over 3 years.  My books arrived at our door.  WOOooooo HOOOooooo!  It is titled Laughing in the Midst of Mothering: Finding Joy in being a Mom.  Unfortunately, I wasn’t home when the truck pulled up and Austin called me to give me a moment by moment account of the driver getting out…. getting the dolly…. loading the cartons… Larisa opening the garage door….  So, two hours later I arrived home to see them for the first time.  My kids had already openend a box and looked at them.  How could I blame them? Their picture is on the back too.  The books are cute.  I mean, really.  It’s pink and has a cute mama on the front.  And my name is on the cover.  I can cross “Having a book published” off my bucket list.  They will be available on my website SOON! 

AND…. I’m 42 today.  So I actually held my first book when I was 41.  What a fantastic birthday gift!  We had birthday dinner at my parent’s house last night (because tonight is church) and mom made her famous Russian Kulebiaka loaf.  It’s my favorite and I’m heading there for lunch today for leftovers.  Skip the cake, bring on the loaf.

Today, more than ever, as my ringtone loudly blasts by Rachel Lampa, “I am blessed.  I am blessed.  From when I rise up in the morning ’til I lay my head to rest.”  I feel very blessed, thankful and full of joy.  Tough days come, but today is a day I will remember for a lifetime. 

Oh, and did I mention that my kids made me breakfast in bed?  Yes,  I had to lie there until 10:00, but it eventually came!  Swedish pancakes with powdered sugar, a cutie orange, sliced apples and Larisa’s specialty, crunchy fried garlic potato cubes.  I was in heaven.  THEN I got cards from my boys and Austin wrote the most words he has ever written to me, including “Thanks for being my mama for 11 years.”   Ahhhhh.   AND my dear husband wrote on our bathroom mirror in barsoap a lovey birthday greeting.

Thank you, family and friends, for loving me!  XOXOXOXOXOXO

 

My Darling Daughter, Larisa

April 7, 2008

Lala

When I gave birth to Larisa (rhymes with Teresa), I expected to have fun dressing her in ribbons, ruffles and curls.  However, I didn’t expect the ribbons, ruffles and curls to be over so quickly.  Larisa spends a half hour every day straightening her hair (no curls), and dressing in t-shirts and jeans…. with man-made holes in them (no ruffles or ribbons.)  Sigh.  I guess I did the same thing at 14, but my mom still had my little sister to dress up and make froofy.

As our children grow, we can only hope and pray that they will reach their God-given potential.  Larisa has surprised us more than once with her writing.  In 2006 we were studying the American Revolution and Larisa chose to write a report on John Hancock.  She researched and wrote for a week before handing in her assignment.  I read it and I was shocked.  Her writing ability took a 10 year leap into the future and I was reading work that was light years ahead of her age.  It was a blinkin’ homeschool report and she included suspense, dialogue, detailed description and drama.  I told RIck that night that I wanted to read something to him.  I read the first page of her report and he said, “That was great, Linda.  What did you write that for?” 

“I didn’t write it.  Larisa did.”

It shocked him as well. He did a doubletake and said, “Read it again.”

With the advancement of my darling daughter’s writing, I encouraged her to enter a story to be published and included in a biography series for middle-schoolers.  We both entered stories… and Larisa’s was chosen…. mine was not.  That shocked me too.  I was at a crossroads between elation for my girl…. and disappointment for myself.  She did well not to rub it in, although my husband kept snickering the rest of the night.  She will be 14 when her first work is published and she is paid for her creative words.  I was 38.

Larisa has been begging for a cell phone for a while.  I don’t see the point because we are always together.  She was trying a logical approach and sassily asked how old I was when I got my first cell phone, trying to prove that she should have one at the same time.  I replied, somewhat sarcastically, “Thirty-seven!”  I may not be able to stay ahead of her in writing, but I’m still in charge of the cell phone acquisition age.

I’ll let you know when her work is available later in the summer.  :o)